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The Evelina London Children's Hospital, London

The Evelina Hospital for Sick Children in London was established by Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1898) in memory of his wife, Evelina, who died in childbirth. He initially intended to create a maternity hospital on the site at South Sea Court, off Southwark Bridge Road,but was persuaded that this particular area of London needed a childrens' hospital, which he endowed with £10,000. Although Ferdinand had intended to be the sole source of finance for the hospital during the early years, the demands on resources were so great that a public subscription fund had to be set up in 1871, enabling the hospital to increase the number of cots from 30 to 40 in 1872. Ferdinand made a second donation of£10,000 in 1896 for the purposes of modernisation and the installation of electric lighting.

The Evelina received royal patronage in 1901 and continued to operate as a voluntary hospital until it was incorporated into the public health system in 1946. A close association with Guy's Hospital over many years developed still further in 1947 when the Evelina was designated a teaching hospital attached to Guy's. In 1952, the Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild ward was established for research into the care of premature infants. Rothschild representatives on the Board of the Evelina have been: Ferdinand de Rothschild - President (1869-1898); Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942) - Treasurer (1937-1940); James de Rothschild (1878-1957) - Treasurer (1942-1948). Trustees have  at various times included the Earl of Rosebery, and Leopold (1845-1917) and Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942). The hospital was substantially rebuilt in 2005. The Rothschild family continues to be associated with the hospital.

The Rothschild Archive London holds no private papers of Ferdinand de Rothschild relating to the establishment of the Evelina Hospital, nor does it hold any records of the Evelina Hospital itself, with the exception of the secondary sources listed below.

The Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Commemorative booklet for the official opening of the new hospital, 2006

000/1658, 1 item

Commemorative booklet The Evelina Children's Hospital, (London: Hopkins Architects, 2006) distributed at the official opening of the new Evelina Children's Hospital, 15 June 2006.

The Evelina London Children’s Hospital, press cuttings and press photographs, 2004-2005

000/1565, 2 items, 6 digital photographs

The Evelina London Children’s Hospital, press cuttings and sundry press photographs, 2004-2005

  •  six digital images taken on the occasion of the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Anne to the Evelina Children’s Hospital on 30 November 2004. These six images also feature Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (1931-2022) in his capacity as the president of the fundraising appeal;
  • copy of The Architectural Review, May 2005 containing an article, with photographs, about the new Evelina Children's Hospital at St Thomas's Hospital in Southwark
  • newspaper cutting from The Times 2, 13 September 2005 about the Evelina: 'Architecture that helps you heal'.

The Evelina London Children's Hospital, 150th anniversary celebrations, film and publications, 2019

000/2658/1-2, 1 digital file, 2 items

The Evelina London Children's Hospital, 150th anniversary celebrations: film and publications

  • Digital MP4 file of a video commissioned by The Evelina London Children's Hospital in their 150th anniversary year as a personal thank-you to the Rothschild Family for their support for the hospital over 150 years. The film was financed by Lord Fink, President of the Evelina London Children's Hospital;
  • copy of the GIST: News from Guy's and St Thomas', Issue 32, 2019 featuring articles 'celebrating 150 years of Evelina London'.